Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater police make arrest in 2008 slaying of taxi driver

CLEARWATER — Detectives have arrested a man in connection with the killing of a Clearwater taxicab driver shot dead nearly five years ago, police announced Friday.

On Sept. 17, 2008, Yellow Cab driver Jack LaGrand, 50, picked up a customer at Fat Daddy's, a Dunedin bar. Police later found LaGrand slain inside his cab behind a shopping center at U.S. 19 and Enterprise Road.

After his death, detectives used billboard campaigns and distributed fliers to garner leads in the case. Last year, surveillance video from Fat Daddy's was enhanced, leading to a sharper picture of the suspect, who wore a shirt adorned with roses and skulls the night LaGrand was killed.

About two months ago, detectives got a break in the case.

A witness came forward and identified Tisen KaShawn Washington, 24, of Port Richey as the killer, said Clearwater police Maj. Donald Hall at a news conference Friday morning. The motive appears to have been robbery, since detectives found no money inside the cab.

Washington, already being held at the Pasco County jail on drug-related charges including possession and sale of cocaine, was interviewed by detectives. A first-degree murder warrant for Washington has been issued, Hall said.

Washington told detectives he remembers going to Fat Daddy's and asking the bartender to call a cab for him. He recognized LaGrand when detectives showed him a photo, but he denied killing him, police said.

In Florida, Washington has been arrested in the past on charges including drug-related offenses and felony possession of a firearm, records show.

LaGrand's wife, Donna, stood by detectives as they talked about her husband's death. She declined to answer questions Friday but released a statement.

"After five long years, the man who committed this senseless act will be brought to justice," the statement read. "To those families facing similar circumstances, never give up hope."

In the Clearwater police station lobby, a banner is displayed with about 30 photographs of homicide victims from years past. On Friday, detectives placed a sticker reading "solved" atop LaGrand's photo.

"It feels good. It's important to be able to go to the family and be able to tell them and give them that closure," said homicide Detective Thomas Dawe. "Being able to resolve this is important to all of us."

Times staff researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Contact Laura C. Morel at [email protected] or (727) 445-4157.

Clearwater police make arrest in 2008 slaying of taxi driver 07/26/13 [Last modified: Friday, July 26, 2013 11:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Forecast: Warm, humid weekend ahead of big cool-down for Tampa Bay

    Weather

    The weekend kicks off warm and dry on Friday across Tampa Bay with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 80s.

  2. U.S.-backed Syrian force declares victory over Islamic State in Raqqa

    World

    BEIRUT — A U.S.-backed Syrian force declared victory over the Islamic State group in its former "capital" of Raqqa on Friday, declaring the northern Syrian city free of any extremist presence.

    This Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 frame grab made from drone video shows damaged buildings in Raqqa, Syria two days after Syrian Democratic Forces said that military operations to oust the Islamic State group have ended and that their fighters have taken full control of the city. [Associated Press]
  3. Florida education news: Lawsuits, lawyers, school board pay and more

    Blogs

    IN COURT: A former Hillsborough County school district top administrator sues the School Board and its chief of staff, alleging board member corruption and …

    Hillsborough School Board member Susan Valdes is the subject of several allegations in a former employee's scathing lawsuit.
  4. Clearwater eyes hiring new downtown director within two months

    CLEARWATER — Now that the city director tasked with revitalizing downtown has resigned after his arrest on a battery charge during Oktoberfest, City Manager Bill Horne said the goal is to not leave the position vacant long.

    Clearwater Assistant City Manager  Micah Maxwell will oversee downtown until the city hires a replacement for Seth Taylor.
  5. Tampa Bay's Top 100 Workplaces deadline extended to Nov. 17

    Business

    Think you work at one of the best places in Tampa Bay? You've got a little more time to make a pitch.

    Penny Hoarder and Gregory, Sharer & Stuart were among those at an event in Tampa last May honoring winners of the Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces awards. Nominations are now open for this year.  
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]